Tips for a hassle-free summer road trip

Proper planning can help keep your next trip on the road safe and successful.

Proper planning can help keep your next trip on the road safe and successful.

Did you know that more Americans are expected to hit the road this summer than last? If you’re one of them, we know you have a lot on your mind, planning where you’ll go and what you’ll do, but don’t forget to also prepare your vehicle for the haul ahead. Whether the jaunt is 50 miles or 500 or more, you and your family are going to be spending a considerable amount of time in your vehicle, so you’ll want to make sure it’s safe.

At Les Schwab Tire Centers, they’ve seen it all, so they’ve gathered their top tips to help you be well prepared for anything that comes your way. (Except for the inevitable “Are we there yet?” question—you’re on your own for that.)

Prepare Your Vehicle

• Les Schwab may be biased, but tires are extremely important. Check yours for wear and proper inflation. Make sure you have a spare in the trunk and check its air pressure—it won’t do you any good if it’s flat.

• Inspect your headlights, brake lights, brakes, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and oil. For guidance, refer to Les Schwab’s essential checklist.

• Get a full tank of gas the day before, so you have one less thing to do during the get-out-of-town scramble.

• If you feel you need some expert assistance, take advantage of Les Schwab’s complimentary Pre-Trip Safety Check: They’ll handle the inspection while you enjoy free popcorn in their lounge.

Expect The Unexpected

• Plan ahead to avoid getting stuck on the road. Pay attention to local weather and road condition advisories and plan your route ahead of time. For up-to-date travel conditions, visit www.lesschwab.com/resources/road-conditions, where you’ll be directed to local Department of Transportation road cams, mileage calculators, scenic byway routes, and weather forecasts.

• In case the unexpected happens, pack your trunk with warm clothes, a couple of flashlights, extra food and water, and a few of the family’s favorite games.

• You should also pack a roadside safety kit to ensure you can handle any detour. It should include gloves, jumper cables, essential tools for fixing a flat, flares, and a first-aid kit and blanket.

Keep Companions Safe And Happy

• Make sure kids sit in the backseat with a car seat or booster seat to ensure their safety.

• Traveling with a furry family member? Keep your dog restrained with a pet seatbelt or in a kennel while the car is in motion. Remember, this isn’t just for your dog’s safety, but for the safety of everyone inside the vehicle.

• Nothing derails a family car trip faster than bored kids. A well-stocked activity bag—books, games, a tablet—can help you log your miles in peace.

• Hunger will also cut into everyone’s fun. Pack healthy snacks and beverages to keep spirits high and minimize pit stops for fast food.

For more information on how Les Schwab tire experts can help you gear up for your road trip, visit www.lesschwab.com.

About Les Schwab Tire Centers

Les Schwab Tire Centers (www.lesschwab.com) is one of the leading independent tire dealers in the United States, with more than 7,000 employees and more than 470 locations throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The company has been recognized for its business practices through several awards, including a Milestone award from the Oregon Sustainability Board, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department honors, an Environmental Excellence award from the Association of Washington Business, an Integrity Counts award from the Northern Idaho Better Business Bureau, and The Oregonian’s 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Top Workplaces recognition. - NAPSI

Posted on July 18, 2017 .

Safe summer driving tips for teens and young adults

Warm weather means more young drivers on the road as they head to summer jobs, parties and embark on road trips. Often, young drivers feel invincible, but they shouldn’t take their safety for granted.

Many experts say driver safety begins with tires, as they are the only thing connecting a car to the road. To help teens and young adults stay safe on the roads this summer and all year long, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) offer these tire safety tips.

• Check tire condition. Damaged tires can shorten tire life and even cause tire failure. Visually check tires for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures and bulges. If any of these conditions are spotted, or if there are any doubts about the condition of the tires, have them professionally inspected.

• Check tire pressure. Proper air pressure improves fuel consumption and helps prevent uneven wear of tires. It also offers drivers better control, which is important for those with less experience behind the wheel. More than 50 percent of American vehicles have at least one under-inflated tire, according to a Rubber Manufacturers Association survey.

To test pressure, wait until tires are cool -- a minimum of three hours after driving. Then, remove the tire’s valve cap and press the top of a tire pressure gauge firmly on the valve stem. A reading will pop up on the gauge. If the reading is lower than the recommended level, add air and check again. Once the recommended pressure is reached, replace the valve cap.

• Check tire tread. Proper tread depth helps maintain traction, improves handling of the vehicle and prevents hydroplaning. To check it, insert the edge of a penny into the most worn groove of the tire tread, with Lincoln’s head down and facing the driver. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread. If the top of his head is visible at any point, it’s time to replace the tire.

• Make it a habit. Technology can prepare young drivers for safer driving. For example, the free Tread Wisely app from Cooper Tire and NOYS, informs users how to check their tires using helpful videos and allows them to set automatic monthly reminders to perform tire checks. Other videos on the app instruct young drivers how to change a flat tire, what to do if they are in an accident, and how to handle other issues on the road. The app also includes a unique “I got there” feature, which reminds young drivers to let parents or friends know after they make it to their destination safely, using pre-loaded text messages.

More tire tips and information about the Tread Wisely app can be found at TreadWisely.org.

“As a parent, you can’t help but worry,” says race car driver Johnny Unser, whose teen daughter Loni uses the Tread Wisely app. “However, you can give your kids the tools and information they need to succeed out there on the road.” - via StatePoint

Posted on June 11, 2017 .

Air pressure tips

We know that proper air pressure is the most important thing you can do to help your tires wear longer, save fuel and improve the handling of your vehicle. Your tires will naturally lose one to two pounds of air pressure a month but most people don’t realize that for every ten-degree change in temperature, your tires’ air pressure changes one psi. Checking air pressure is easy with an accurate air gauge. beware of public pressure gauges. they’re often abused and may be unreliable.

The correct air pressure may be found in the vehicles’ owner’s manual or on the tire placard attached to the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box or fuel door. Remember, don’t use inflation numbers shown on the tire. this number only represents the maximum tire inflation pressure, not the recommended air pressure for your vehicle. To get the most accurate reading, make sure to check the pressure before driving on your tires.

If you have to drive before you check the pressure, try not to drive more than a mile. driving on a tire increases its temperature and air pressure. To check air pressure, unscrew the valve cap and press the gauge into place. You may hear a short burst of air come out. the gauge will display the air pressure. If you add air, check the air pressure again, to make sure you have the correct air pressure. when finished, be sure to replace the valve cap. This will protect the valve stem from corrosion and debris, which could cause air loss. try to check your air pressure every other time you fill up at the gas station or at least once a month. Changing America, one tire at a time

Posted on June 4, 2017 .